Most Home Depot stockholders have never heard of the Nuxalk Nation, but today, the hereditary chief of the British Columbia indian tribe, the Nuxalk Nation, traveled to Atlanta, the home of Home Depot, to ask the company’s CEO to stop buying old growth wood products. According to the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Chief Qwatsinas left the small fishing village of Bella Coola, located along a fjord in BC’s remote central coast, to confront CEO Arthur Blank with the damage his company has done to the Nuxalk Nation. “Home Depot is selling away our nation by the board foot,” Qwatsinas. “Loggers are cutting down the ancient trees of our homeland that have been standing since time began. They are cutting down the trees in the valley we call ‘Ista’, where our legends say the first woman came to Earth. These are our most sacred places — and everything is being cut down and sold at Home Depot. We are concerned about the destruction of the environment and the animals, and how this affects our way of life as indigenous people.” A Canadian logging company, Interfor, operates in the Nuxalk Nation territory, and is Home Depot’s largest supplier of hemlock and cedar products, according to RAN. Chief Qwatsinas and the Trillium Asset Management company, which holds $10 million in Home Depot stock, planned to bring a shareholder’s resolution to today’s Home Depot annual meeting. All the business reports today from that meeting only focus on Home Depot stock issues — not a word about the old growth protest. “When a scant 20% of our ancient forests survive worldwide, and only about 4% in the United States,” said RAN Old Growth campaign director Mike Brune, “Home Depot’s continued sales of products made from the planet’s last remaining old growth forests is simply barbaric.” Old growth forests are those in which no commercial logging has occurred.
Home Depot pleads the Fifth Amendment on the issue of old growth lumber. The company has stated previously that it sells too many products to possibly know which ones are made from old growth. They also point out that Home Depot doesn’t cut any trees, and just sells wood products, and therefore protests aimed at The Depot are misdirected. Tell that to Chief Qwatsinas. He knows who cuts his trees, he knows who sells them. And he knows that without a market to sell to, the trees would still be standing. For further information on the RAN campaign against old growth cutting, contact Mike Brune at [email protected]